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Tim Tebow gets paid!


60516 sp0729tebow Tim Tebow gets paid!

Per NFL.com:

Tim Tebow’s training-camp debut was delayed by dollars — a lot of dollars.

“He definitely thrives on it. He’s a competitor,” Geer said. “Watching him out here in all the workouts, he’s always coming in first place.”

The rookie quarterback and the Denver Broncos agreed on a five-year, $33 million contract with $8.7 million guaranteed Thursday, a source told NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi. The Broncos announced the deal with the 25th overall draft pick, but they didn’t disclose the terms.

The major sticking point in negotiations, NFL Network’s Scott Hanson reported, was the total guaranteed money. Tebow’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, made it clear that he wanted more guaranteed money than Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant, the 24th overall pick, received in his deal last week, but there were conflicting numbers on that amount. In the end, a source told Hanson that Tebow’s $8.7 million in guaranteed money is more than Bryant’s reported $8.3 million.

According to Hanson, Tebow arrived at the Broncos’ Dove Valley complex Thursday afternoon to sign his contract, take his physical, meet with coaches and possibly perform his conditioning test. He will hit the practice field Friday morning, having missed three practices before coming to terms.

During his brief absence, Tebow received a phone call from Broncos coach Josh McDaniels, “encouraging” the rookie to report, which was interpreted as an appeal to the quarterback’s character — pressuring him not to miss any practice. A source told Hanson that Tebow and McDaniels joked about that phone call when the rookie arrived at the team’s facility to sign his deal.

Tebow’s deal leaves top pick Demaryius Thomas, a wide receiver out of Georgia Tech, as the only member of Denver’s 2010 draft class without a contract. Thomas was selected three spots before Tebow.

The Broncos are using four practices this week to give rookies, selected veterans and players who are coming off injuries a head-start on the playbook and practice plans — and also get the jitters out before camp starts in earnest after the rest of the veterans report this weekend. Camp officially starts Sunday with the first full-squad, full-pads session.

“It’s just an opportunity to feel better about playing faster,” McDaniels said before Tebow’s deal was announced. “And I think whether you’re a rookie quarterback or an injured player, it makes sense to come in and try to start crawling before you walk and walking before you run — because certainly none of them are going to hit the ground running because they’re behind.

“Every day is a great opportunity.”

The Broncos’ starting quarterback remains Kyle Orton, who threw for 3,800 yards last season but faltered down the stretch when he was banged up and the team kept its offense conservative. The Broncos were unwilling to commit to a long-term relationship this offseason, so Orton signed a $2.621 million tender as a restricted free agent and didn’t miss any of the team’s offseason program.

But Orton did receive some better competition for his job as the Broncos jettisoned Chris Simms and Tom Brandstater and brought in Brady Quinn in a trade with the Cleveland Browns and Tebow via the draft.

Tebow might not be ready to make a big impact as a rookie because he faces a big adjustment as he morphs from combination college quarterback to prototypical pro passer. Still, many consider him the best college player ever, and he’s creating the kind of buzz in the Rockies that John Elway did back in 1983.

Tebow’s jersey already is a best-seller, he’s pitching products for Jockey, EA Sports and Nike. And he’s sure to be under a microscope from the second he steps on the practice field.

Tebow’s teammates aren’t concerned that he’ll crater under all the attention.

“As successful as he’s been, I’m sure he can handle it,” said guard Russ Hochstein, a 10-year NFL veteran.

Rookie tight end Riar Geer said the one thing he has learned in the four months he has known him is that Tebow prospers under pressure.


Redskin’s won’t let Haynesworth practice because he is a fat mess…


albert haynesworth redskins Redskins wont let Haynesworth practice because he is a fat mess...

Per NFL.com:

Slimmed-down defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was deemed unfit to practice with the Washington Redskins on Thursday, even though the players were wearing shorts, contact was sparse and the whole workout lasted just 70 minutes.

According to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, Haynesworth originally was told that he needed to do two sets of shuttle runs in the allotted time to be cleared for practice. However, that wasn’t how the conditioning test went down at Redskins Park.

Haynesworth completed the first set in plenty of time, and then, as has been the case with the way the Redskins have conducted the test, he received a several-minute break. Haynesworth went inside to use the bathroom, according to the source, and when he returned to the field, he was told he took too long and therefore had to start over.

Haynesworth also finished the next set of shuttles (his second) in ample time, but he couldn’t complete the third and final set, and thus was told he failed the test and couldn’t practice, La Canfora reported.

“I just want to be done with all this, so I can get out there and play football,” Haynesworth told NFL Network’s Lindsay Soto.

Haynesworth’s only appearance came after the practice was over, when he spent about 20 minutes walking through some plays with two assistant coaches. Looking perhaps 30 pounds leaner than he did a year ago, Haynesworth hovered around large upside-down trash bins — representing offensive linemen — as he learned the new defense’s terminology.

According to La Canfora, Haynesworth told teammates that he couldn’t have completed three shuttles in that time frame even during his All-Pro season, and several Redskins sources pointed out the irony that the defensive tackle is in markedly better shape than he was this time last year.

“The conditioning test, I don’t even think a lot of us guys that were even here 100 percent could have passed that thing,” Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “But that’s what conditioning tests are, that’s what they’re supposed to be, they’re supposed to be some of them unattainable. Some we’ve had in the past were definitely unattainable.”

When told he had failed the test, Haynesworth was “first-class all the way” in accepting the news, according to Redskins coach Mike Shanahan. The coach indicated no harsh words were exchanged.

Shanahan maintained that Haynesworth wasn’t set up to fail. The coach said all the other Redskins linemen essentially passed the test by participating in offseason workouts.

“It’s a very fair test,” Shanahan said. “But more importantly, it keeps a guy from getting hurt. I don’t want to put a guy out there that’s not ready to go, and all of a sudden there’s a setback for two weeks.”

Shanahan’s reasoning carried less weight on a day when practice wasn’t particularly demanding and when wide receiver Malcolm Kelly was allowed to practice on a wet field despite nursing a sore hamstring.

Shanahan said Haynesworth will take the test once a day until he passes. If Haynesworth fails, he’ll have to spend extra time on the treadmill — as he did Thursday — and will continue to be absent from practice.

Several players took this to be Shanahan sending a message to Haynesworth for skipping all the team’s offseason work, and their relationship remains icy, La Canfora reported. Shanahan and Haynesworth have yet to see eye-to-eye on much since the coach came on board this year and began implementing a 3-4 base defense.

“The bottom line,” Shanahan said, “is we’re going to get him in shape.”

Conditioning tests — which typically involve two series of timed back-and-forth sprints — are routine among NFL teams before the start of training camp, although failure to pass hasn’t necessarily excluded a player from participation. The Redskins had three players fail the test in 2008, but all three participated as usual in training-camp practices.

This year, Haynesworth was the only Washington player required to take the test. Everyone else on the team attended a certain percentage of offseason workouts required by Shanahan.

Haynesworth spent the offseason pursuing his own workout regimen, and his representatives have maintained that he was in excellent shape. Shanahan said Haynesworth “looked like he was in good shape” during their meeting Wednesday, but the coach would only say “we’ll see” when asked if he expects the unhappy player to be part of the team in 2010.

The Haynesworth saga has overshadowed a Redskins team that’s trying to start a new chapter with Shanahan and new quarterback Donovan McNabb. Players have tried to ignore the distraction, but several of them called Haynesworth “selfish” when he skipped the mandatory minicamp last month.

Haynesworth wants the freedom that helped make him a dominant player for many years with the Tennessee Titans and doesn’t want to play nose tackle in a 3-4 defense. The Redskins have said he should give the defense a chance.

Haynesworth signed a seven-year, $100-million free-agent deal a year ago, but his first season with Washington led to questions about his focus and commitment.

Shanahan was ready to let Haynesworth go early this year and let him sign with another team, but the lineman didn’t want to give up the $21 million bonus that he collected April 1 and is part of his contract. Shanahan said once the bonus was paid, Haynesworth had essentially committed himself to playing for the Redskins.

Notes: CB Carlos Rogers signed his $1.54 million restricted free-agent tender and participated in practice Thursday. He waited until the last possible moment because he was unhappy not to receive a long-term contract. … OT Mike Williams, who’s being treated for blood clots, was placed on the reserved non-football illness list. … No. 4 overall draft pick Trent Williams is officially a holdout, missing the first day of camp while contract negotiations continue. “I’d be surprised if he’s not in here quickly,” Shanahan said of the offensive tackle.


Terrell Owens arrives in Bengal country…


KYAB121 Bengals Camp Footba.standalone.prod affiliate.79 Terrell Owens arrives in Bengal country...Per NFL.com:

Terrell Owens arrived fashionably late, still received several rounds of applause, and his favorite number was waiting for him, too.The Cincinnati Bengals‘ newest receiver missed an overnight flight that would have brought him to town early Thursday, allowing for a proper introduction. Instead, he hopped on a later flight, rolled in less than an hour before an evening practice and decided to suit up.

That’s what a few thousand fans came to see.

Owens was halfway across the back of the end zone, headed for the locker room to get his new uniform, when some fans in the stands identified him and started yelling his name. Owens briefly waved his right arm in recognition.

Owens and buddy Chad Ochocinco were the last two to emerge from the Bengals’ locker room, receiving another round of applause. Owens wore his customary No. 81 when he emerged in a white practice jersey, part of a deal he made with the previous owner.

Receiver Antonio Bryant took No. 81 when the Bengals chose him over Owens during the offseason, giving him a four-year, $28 million deal. Bryant said after a morning practice that he already had talked to Owens and agreed to give up his number.

“I’m a realist,” Bryant said. “I said, ‘Hey, man, I’m not going to make no big spectacle about it. You’ve got a bigger legacy and a number than I do. I’ve been on several teams like you, but I’ve changed my number several times. You’ve had the same number.

“I don’t need your money,” Bryant said. “All I want you to do is take care of one of my little league programs in Miami. Send them a small donation and we’ll go from there.”‘

First, Owens had to arrive. It wasn’t as easy as planned.

The Bengals expected Owens to arrive early in the day, take his physical and sign his one-year contract while the rest of the team held its first workout. They scheduled an introductory news conference after the morning practice.

The news conference had to be rescheduled for after the evening session because Owens missed his red-eye flight.

On his Twitter account, Owens had posted a note Wednesday night saying he was headed to see a movie. He didn’t explain why he missed his overnight flight.

“My Press conf about my “Decision” 2 take my talents 2 Cincy will b held 2nite after 7pm practice!!” Owens tweeted, playing off LeBron James’ one-hour television show announcing his decision to leave the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

Owens also misspelled Cincinnati in one of his tweets and was corrected by a follower.

“Okayyyyyy I got it now, 2 n’s & 1 t! CINCINNATI!! LOL!” he tweeted.

With Owens showing up late, Bryant was a focus of the Bengals’ first workout — for his knee, not his number.

Bryant had surgery for torn cartilage in his left knee during training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year. He was limited to 39 catches for 600 yards and four touchdowns, but the Bengals signed him to a $28 million deal, hoping he would provide another outside threat with Ochocinco.

Bryant backed off workouts last month because the muscles around the left knee didn’t feel strong enough. He went through drills tentatively Thursday, never running at full speed, and planned to sit out the evening practice to work on strengthening the leg.

“The only thing I’m struggling with right now is just being comfortable and mentally just putting (the left foot) down and doing what I want to do without thinking, ‘Oh, I might feel pain,’” Bryant said. “That’s my biggest hurdle right now.”

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis insisted that Bryant’s knee problem had nothing to do with the team’s decision to sign Owens this week. Bryant isn’t so sure.

“If I owned the team, I would definitely go after the best players if possible, especially with the situation they acquired him,” Bryant said. “I definitely would have went after the guy.”

Running back Cedric Benson fully participated in the workout. Benson met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week about his offseason arrest in Texas on a charge of misdemeanor assault. Benson is accused of punching a bar employee, a charge he has denied.

Benson hasn’t heard anything more from Goodell, who could discipline him.

“We had a good talk, a good session,” Benson said. “I guess no news is good news.”

Notes: CB Leon Hall did conditioning instead of participating in practice. Hall said he slightly hurt his lower back during a recent workout. … OT Andre Smith, the team’s first-round pick last year, will concentrate on conditioning the first few weeks of camp. Smith broke his left foot last Sept. 1, limiting him to six games, and had offseason surgery. … TE Jermaine Gresham, the team’s top pick this year, missed the first practice in a contract dispute. … CB Adam “Pacman” Jones sometimes covered Ochocinco. After one play, Jones playfully slapped him on the helmet and the receiver playfully slapped him back — but harder. Then, Ochocinco talked to him on the sideline. Later, when Jones successfully covered Ochocinco on a play, the receiver gave him a congratulatory high-five.


Antonio Gates signs largest TE deal ever…


antonio gates Antonio Gates signs largest TE deal ever...

Per NFL.com:

Antonio Gates has made plenty of big catches for the San Diego Chargers. On Wednesday, he hauled in the biggest contract ever given to an NFL tight end.

Gates agreed to a five-year, $36.175 million contract extension with the Chargers, with $20.4 million guaranteed, a league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora. The deal averages $7.235 million per season from 2011 to 2015.

Gates, a college basketball star at Kent State, blossomed from a rookie free agent in 2003 to a superstar who is a three-time All-Pro and six-time Pro Bowl pick.

Three other Chargers players are unhappy about their contracts, but talks with Gates apparently intensified this week. Gates and other veterans are scheduled to report to training camp Thursday, with the first full-squad practice Friday.

“I’ve been blessed my whole career to be with one team,” Gates said in a statement released by the team. “It’s always good to get it out of the way. The goal is to win a championship. We all are human and it becomes a distraction even though you might not want it to be. It’s always great to be able to go ahead and do what you need to do and get it out of the way.”

It wasn’t clear if Gates’ deal would lead to new contracts for restricted free agents Marcus McNeill, Vincent Jackson and Shawne Merriman.

McNeill, the left tackle who protects quarterback Philip Rivers‘ blind side, and Jackson, a Pro Bowl wide receiver with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, are unhappy that they haven’t been given long-term deals and are expected to hold out through training camp and the season’s first 10 games. They are expected to return for the final six games to accrue another season toward unrestricted free agency.

Jackson and McNeill were tendered one-year deals at just more than $3 million each. When they didn’t sign the offers by June 15, the Chargers were entitled to offer them their same salaries as 2009, resulting in a loss of about $2.5 million each.

Merriman hasn’t signed his tender for $3.269 million, but the outside linebacker was due a 10 percent raise anyway, which would put his 2010 pay at approximately the tender amount. Still, he hasn’t said when he’ll report.

These negotiations between Gates and the Chargers went much more smoothly than in 2005.

Gates held out during training camp that year, leading Chargers general manager A.J. Smith to take the extreme measure of placing the tight end on the roster exempt list in an attempt to break the impasse, automatically triggering a three-game suspension. Gates missed the final two preseason games and the season opener, which the Chargers lost.

Gates dumped the agent who represented him then and hired Tom Condon.

“Antonio is a special player and person. He is everything we are looking for in a Chargers player,” Smith said in a statement. “His talent and contributions to our team speak for themselves. His work ethic and desire to be the best are unmatched. He has been a major part of the success we have had over the past several years, and we are thrilled he will continue to be with us for years to come.”

Since his rookie season, Gates leads NFL tight ends in touchdown catches (59), and he ranks second in receiving yards (6,223) and third in receptions (479). Gates has led the Chargers in receptions each of the last six seasons. In 2009, he topped the team with 79 catches and a career-best 1,157 yards, with eight touchdowns.

This is the second big contract for a Chargers player in less than a year. Rivers was given a six-year contract extension worth nearly $93 million toward the end of last year’s training camp.


Jason Campbell to be the Oakland Raiders starter…


JasonCsampbell Jason Campbell to be the Oakland Raiders starter...

Per NFL.com:

Coach Tom Cable said offseason acquisition Jason Campbell will open training camp as the Oakland Raiders‘ starting quarterback.

Cable spoke Wednesday at the Raiders’ first full day of camp. The team has meetings scheduled all day long and will begin practice Thursday.

Campbell will open with the first string. Cable said he’s going that direction because Bruce Gradkowski missed the past three months with a torn pectoral muscle.

Cable said after acquiring Campbell from the Washington Redskins during the NFL draft in April that there will be a competition at quarterback.


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